H. Patrick Campbell, the city’s chief auditor, sent an e-mail Tuesday to police Chief James Rovella asking him to revoke Jared Kupiec’s access card for the Hartford Public Safety Complex, which Kupiec has apparently been using to get into the facility’s gym for workouts. Kupiec is Mayor Pedro Segarra’s chief of staff.
Campbell wrote in the e-mail that providing Kupiec with access to the complex and its gym raises issues of fairness, since other city employees do not have the privilege. He said some police officers have also been concerned about discussing sensitive information about cases in front of Kupiec.
Campbell said police should grant Kupiec access on an as-needed basis, but discontinue the gym privileges.
Kupiec said Tuesday that he had asked Rovella for use of the gym because he works out at night, when other city gyms are closed.
“I did ask for an access card. I’m regularly there for storms — [working in] the EOC — and I did ask for permission to use the gym,” he said. “It’s a gym purchased with city tax dollars for city employees. If they choose to restrict that access, they choose to restrict that access.”
Kupiec said he received a call from Rovella Tuesday — following the commission’s e-mail — asking for the access card back. He said he would return the card Wednesday morning.
Former city Police Chief Daryl Roberts told my colleague Steven Goode today that he has been unable to work out at the new public safety complex because retirees are not allowed. Retirees instead work out at 50 Jennings Road, he said.
“I find it ironic that retirees are not allowed to use the facility but that [Kupiec] is allowed to receive that benefit,” Roberts said.
Here’s the e-mail:
CC: SEGAP001@hartford.gov, KEEBS001@hartford.gov, CLOUA001@hartford.gov, City_Council@hartfordschools.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com
Sent: 05/07/2013 4:40:08 P.M. Eastern Daylight Time
Subj: Access to the Public Safety Complex and Gymnasium
This is to follow-up on our previous correspondence regarding the matter of Jared Kupiec’s access to the Public Safety Complex (PSC) and gymnasium. As previously noted this was brought to the attention of the Internal Audit Commission based on an anonymous tip. Our concerns regarding this matter are as follows:
1. Providing Mr. Kupiec access to the PSC gymnasium raises the issue of fairness in that it is granting this privilege to one, albeit high level City of Hartford employee, while excluding others. It was also brought to our attention, through the tip, that certain officers are concerned about discussing potentially sensitive case information and other Police matters in Mr. Kupiec’s presence.
2. There is also a question as to the need for Mr. Kupiec to have a separate key card to access the PSC. We understand that the front desk of the PSC is manned on a 24 hour, seven day a week, 365 day a year, basis. As a result, Mr. Kupiec could reasonably be granted access to the PSC on an as needed basis by the officers at the front desk.
In light of the above, we recommend that you discontinue granting gymnasium privileges to Mr. Kupiec. In addition, unless there are reasons that we are unaware of for Mr. Kupiec needing his own access card to the PSC, we recommend that you deactivate his access capabilities and recover his card.
Please let us know your plans and timeframe for addressing this matter. If you have any questions regarding this request or the above please let me know. Thank you.